THAT'S the ending?! Really?! I'm just going to rant aimlessly in this spoiler tag, so don't read it if you don't want to be spoiled, and be prepared for my thoughts to bounce ALL OVER THE PLACE.
I still don't like Camden as much as I did in the first book. The first book had that man front and center in my imaginary list of people I'd like to have sex with, but then I read the novella... and Javier. Yum. So, both of these dudes are fucking cray cray, I'm sure we can all agree on that, but what was pissing me off was Camden saying how Ellie was his be-all-end-all when they'd essentially only had a fling. He may have loved her when he was a teen, I'm not doubting that, but to make it sound like he shared something like what she and Javi did was grating to me.
Ellie saying how she would do anything to be good... yet fucking robbed Camden the first chance she got!!! Dafuq you would do anything to be good. Bitch, please. Own your badness. Stop saying how your poor Camden this, and your poor Camden that, and boohoo if only I'd trusted him! You were held prisoner by him too Ellie!!! WTF!! Neither of your men are good people, even though Camden certainly wasn't as bad as Javier--at first.
I believed Javier when he talked to her, and I believed him when he said she broke him too. He brought that shit on himself, but I believe him. And I'd like to know why he wasn't shocked that Ellie knew he cheated when she up and left without ever bringing it up?! Seriously. And to be so blase about it at that! Both of these guys always talking about owning her body and who she belongs to got on my nerves after a while, and at first I loved it, but then I was like, go fuck yourself with that shit. Ellie has so much more history, and connection, with Javier. He owns his badness and just point blank tries to make her see her own. She was beating the shit out of him and he never once raised his hand against her. Camden, however, has no such restraint. It hurts not being on Camden's side since I really, really liked him in the first book, but Javier was better imo. Not that putting her in Travis' path was a good idea, but he's a bad man. He has this fucked up sense of honor (I guess) for Ellie to give her what she was so consumed with, and it happened to meet his own goals as well. Camden used her too, so he's no better.
Ellie always blaming the world for her bad choices got to me too. I'm not even saying she wasn't justified, to a point, but after a certain time in her life she should be able to admit that she's willfully making the choices she is. Travis maimed her, but it was her parents that put her in that position. It was her parents who failed to protect her, and then left her to live her life with no input from them. They were criminals for more than thirty years, and they were all too aware that it was Travis who had maimed her, so why would her mom not have had the common sense to not give Ellie's identity away? I believe she was shocked. I also believe that she would know better.
Javier once again came to save Ellie--there's no way Camden could have gotten her out of there. None. There's also no fucking way Camden could go on this crusade to save Gus when he can't even see the ceiling for as deep in as he is. He doesn't have the skill set for it. Javier is a bad man, but he can take care of shit. Camden is a gorgeous man who can take care of other shit that's not so risky and volatile, lol.
It's surprising to me to be so firmly in Javier's corner. I'm not sure how many of us are out there, but probably not a lot. I do know with a certainty that it was the novella that changed my opinion of him, but even without having read that I would have softened towards him in this book. He was legitimately good to Ellie (not talking about the Travis plot, but even that was his own twisted way to show her affection). I could feel that he still loved her and that he wanted to share his life with her again. I could feel that Camden was still obsessed with her too, but I didn't feel the same amount of love. Camden was meaner imo. He was really able to hurt Ellie, and Javier was trying to not hurt her. First loves don't tend to work out (I know there are exceptions) but I feel that Javier and her had more of a connection that she and Camden.
Either way, I love me some fucked up and twisted characters, and though there's still bits in here that have me questioning how much I'd forgive for a hot body and great sex, I know that I will be waiting impatiently for the next book.
Oh, and I think that Gus must be her biological father.